Online Class: Diabetes 101

Welcome to Diabetes 101: Understanding, Diagnosing and Managing. This introductory course regarding the topic of diabetes is designed to offer students a general understanding of what diabetes is,

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Course Description

Welcome to Diabetes 101: Understanding, Diagnosing and Managing. This introductory course regarding the topic of diabetes is designed to offer students a general understanding of what diabetes is, how it's diagnosed and how it's managed. Students will also learn the anatomy of diabetes, the body organs involved, and the different types of diabetes with which a person may be diagnosed.

This course also covers the importance of glucose and insulin and how each affects the overall function of your body. Symptoms of diabetes as well as what to expect when you visit a doctor are included in these lessons. Testing methods commonly used by diabetics to maintain their blood sugar and insulin levels are also explored. Understanding the basic tools a diabetic may need for daily management of diabetes are introduced, as are the different methods many individuals diagnosed with diabetes take in order to adapt their lifestyle to their condition at home, work, or school.

Students of this course on diabetes will learn about the most common types of complications associated with multiple forms of diabetes and the importance of care and infection prevention among diabetics, most specifically the elderly. Pregnant mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes will understand the importance of obstetrical and post-delivery care, and enjoy some tips and suggestions for healthy living habits before, during and after a planned pregnancy.

Throughout this course, students will also learn the importance of nutrition and diet for optimal management of diabetes symptoms and conditions. We'll explore a number of coping skills that diabetics can utilize to help prevent stress and depression. Finally, we'll wrap up this introductory course on diabetes by offering tips that every individual can take to help reduce their risk of developing the condition, or at the very least, minimize its impact on their lives.

Course Motivation

Diabetes affects millions of people around the world regardless of socioeconomic factors geographic location and gender or race. There are several different types of diabetes, and understanding the difference between them and how they are treated will help you make better and more educated decisions regarding your or a loved one's care.

According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, chances are that you know somebody who has diabetes. These institutes estimate that nearly 24 million people in the United States alone have diabetes, and nearly five million of those individuals don't know it.

Unfortunately, diabetes, which for the most part used to be considered an "adult's disease", today now afflicts younger individuals because of increasingly poor diets, lack of exercise, and obesity. Diabetes may also be caused by other conditions, including pancreatic diseases, endocrine system abnormalities or disease processes, and even infections and medications.

Understanding the anatomy and vocabulary associated with diabetes will help you become more aware of your body and its functions. Unfortunately, diabetes has become one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, and is often associated with other conditions that can cause malfunctions and damage to all parts of the body. Some of the most common complications of diabetes, including blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and stroke are completely preventable through lifestyle and diet change. 

Anatomy of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease process that affects the endocrine system. The endocrine system involves the body's glands. Also known as diabetes mellitus, the condition affects the body's:

  •   Secretion of hormone
  • Metabolism regulation
  • Growth
  • Sexual development and the ability to reproduce
The endocrine system is made up of several glands including the:      
  • Thyroid
  • Parathyroid
  • Thymus
  • Adrenal glands
  • Pancreas
  • Pituitary gland
  • Male and female sexual glands including the testes and ovaries

The pancreas is an important organ involved in the endocrine system. If the pancreas secretes too much or too little of specific hormones, your health and wellness and your overall body function can literally be thrown out of whack.

Diabetes affects the way the body digests food. Normally, food is broken down into a form of sugar found in the blood, called glucose, the body's main source of energy or fuel. After food digests, glucose flows through the bloodstream and into the body's cellular tissues. However, in order for glucose to actually get into the body's cells, a hormone known as insulin must be present in the body. Insulin is created by the pancreas, one of the largest glands in the body, located behind the stomach.

Under optimal conditions, the pancreas produces the exact correct amount of insulin needed by glucose to move into cells. However, with individuals diagnosed with diabetes, the pancreas either doesn't produce enough or doesn't create any insulin for this well-balanced function. Sometimes, a person's body doesn't react properly to the insulin produced by the pancreas. Such conditions result in a form of diabetes, depending on which condition is diagnosed.

When the body doesn't produce the hormone insulin or doesn't react to it properly, glucose builds up in the blood. Excess glucose is excreted out of the body in urine, resulting in a body left without its main source of fuel.

The pancreas itself is made up of special cells and tissues. These tissues secrete special digestive enzymes through ducts; these enzymes are important in the processing and digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and other vital nutrients found in the body.

Pancreatic tissues are made up of three different types of cells:     

  • Alpha  
  • Beta   
  • Delta

 cells are responsible for the manufacture and release of glucagon, a special hormone that raises blood glucose levels in the body. Beta cells are responsible for regulating blood sugar levels in the body, and can produce glucose-lowering insulin in response to high blood sugar levels. Delta cells are responsible for producing a hormone called somatostatin, which is believed to be directly responsible for actions of both alpha and beta cells.

A few basic vocabulary words are essential to understanding the process through which the pancreas functions as well as what can happen when these balances are off. Here are some of the basics:


  • Glucose - a form of sugar created in the body that circulates in the blood, used for energy by the body's cells. 
  •  Glucagon - a hormone produced by the pancreas. This hormone is important in raising blood glucose levels in the body when they're low.
  • Insulin - a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates metabolism of fat and carbohydrates in the body and controls levels of glucose in the blood.

Type One Diabetes

Type One diabetes, also commonly Type I, is a form of diabetes where an individual's body makes very little insulin or none at all. Such individuals must take oral or injectable insulin in order to enjoy optimal health and wellness. Type One diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes, but this doesn't mean the condition just affects children. This is because most forms of this type of diabetes are diagnosed in either childhood or adolescence. However, adults can develop Type One diabetes. 

Type Two Diabetes

Type Two diabetes (also designated as Type II) is the form of the disease where an individual's body does make insulin, but for unknown reasons, the body is resistant to it. This form of the disease is also known as adult onset diabetes. Today, more younger people and children are diagnosed with Type Two diabetes as a direct result of obesity.

Type Two diabetes is the most common form of the disease and accounts for nearly 95% of individuals diagnosed. According to statistics, diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. This form of diabetes is increasingly treatable, and many people can reduce their chances of developing the disease through lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. Other individuals diagnosed with pre-diabetic conditions and even some forms of diabetes can actually reverse the progression of the disease and lead normal, happy, healthy lives. 

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. We'll cover gestational diabetes in more depth in Lesson 8, as well as lifestyle, activities, and complications of gestational diabetes for pregnant women as well as the importance of obstetrical care and pre- and post-delivery health and wellness for new moms. 
Basic knowledge of how diabetes affects the body and the vocabulary associated with the condition will help throughout the lessons offered in this course on diabetes.
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.6 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(2,504 votes)

Lesson 1: Diabetes Basics

The anatomy of diabetes and different types of diabetes are the focus of this first lesson on understanding, diagnosing, and managing diabetes. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Diabetes; Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: Diagnosing Diabetes

This lesson will focus on the common symptoms of different types of diabetes, what to expect when you do visit the doctor, and a variety of testing methods that are utilized to help your doctor diagnose the disease. Additional lesson topics: Diabetes Tests 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: All About Glucose

Any diabetic should understand the basic definition of glucose; what it does, and how it affects the body. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Basic Diabetic Tools

In this lesson, we'll cover the basics of what types of tools you may need to monitor your condition. Additional lesson topics: Glucose Monitoring 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: The Diabetic Lifestyle

In this lesson, we'll cover some ideas and suggestions for taking back control of your life and leading as normal of a lifestyle as possible. Additional lesson topics: Managing Diabetes 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Exercise
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Diabetes Complications

There are times when diabetic complications may arise. Understanding the basics regarding a few of these will help you identify when something just isn't right with your body. Additional lesson topics: Diabetes Complications; Foot Complications 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Diabetes and the Elderly

The importance of care and the dangers of infection to the elderly are broached in this lesson. Additional lesson topics: Standard of Care for Older Adults with Diabetes 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Gestational Diabetes

This lesson focuses specifically on what causes gestational diabetes, how women can take care of themselves throughout their pregnancy, and learn healthy lifestyle habits that will help them and their babies experience a healthy and normal pregnancy and d 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Diabetes and Diet

This lesson will provide a brief introduction into a diabetic diet and catering that diet to your tastes. Additional lesson topics: Food and Nutrition 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Food journaling
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: Coping Skills for Diabetics

This lesson will focus on how emotions such as stress and depression may interfere with your long-term health and wellness and the link between diabetes management and your emotional outlook. Additional lesson topics: Coping and Diabetes; Diabetes and Emotions 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11: Diabetes Prevention

This lesson focuses on preventing diabetes and what you can do to help yourself, your children or your parents avoid a diabetic diagnosis. Additional lesson topics: Diabetes Prevention 64 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Let us know what you think of this course; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what diabetes is, recognize the types of diabetes, and how to diagnose it.
  • Describe glucose and its role in diabetes.
  • Identify basic diabetic tools.
  • Describe the diabetic lifestyle and complications that can arise with diabetes.
  • Describe the challenges of diabetes and the elderly.
  • Define gestational diabetes.
  • Summarize diabetes and diet.
  • Describe coping skills for diabetics as well as techniques for diabetes prevention.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Diabetes 101
Course Number: 8900166
Lessons Rating: 4.6 / 5 Stars (2,504 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Last Updated: October 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.4 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "A very good class and a very conscientious instructor. Timely classwork feedback and helpful comments. I also found it helpful to see my incorrect answers corrected with the right answers." -- Pamela T.
  • "Instructor seemed very knowledgeable and presented the information in a clear manner. Thoroughly enjoyed the class :) Thank you." -- Kathleen S.
  • "This was a very helpful course for learning the basics of diabetes." -- Craig B.
  • "The course helped me a lot in knowing more about Diabetes. The instructor is diligent." -- Julieta B.
  • "I just wanted to thank her and thank for all of the information that was shared." -- Joan R.
  • "The entire course was relevant and the teacher excellent!" -- Joseph M.
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  • "Instructor is amazing very helpful and motivating." -- Roja P.
  • "She ia a great instructor!!" -- David K.
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